Safety inspectors target build sites

SAFETY inspectors are visiting construction sites across Northumberland in a month-long initiative.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive will be carrying out checks of areas where refurbishment and repairs are being carried out to try to reduce the risks of death, injury and ill health.

They will target high risk activity, such as working at height, as well as check that work has been properly planned, equipment is correctly installed, assembled, inspected and maintained, sites are well organised to avoid trips and falls, walkways are free from obstructions and areas are clear of unnecessary materials and waste.

During 2010/11 one worker was killed and 14 serious injuries were reported in the sector in Northumberland, and there were two deaths and 132 serious injuries across the North East.

HSE Principal Inspector for Construction in the North East Rob Hirst said: “The refurbishment sector continues to be the most risky for construction workers. All too often straight-forward practical precautions are not considered and workers are put at risk. In many cases simple changes to working practices can make all the difference. Poor management of risks in this industry is unacceptable.

“As we have demonstrated in the past, we will take strong action if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily put at risk.”

For more information about safe working in construction visit www.hse.gov.uk/construction